Boys Basketball Starts Out Strong

Logan Potts, Sports Editor

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With a team coming off back to back seasons that ended deep in the state playoffs, and a new head coach, the Boys basketball team did not enter the season with the expectations that they usually have. The team is currently sitting at 13-5, exceeding expectations and doing it with the help of breakout seasons. The team is lead by senior guard Mello Ball, senior guard Jayden Littlejohn, and junior forward/center Devion Harris. Harris leads the team with 16.3 points per game, Littlejohn is second as he is averaging 12.5 PPG and Ball is not far behind with 11.2.
“The most improvement I’ve had to my game is the ability to shoot the three, as it is what I have worked on the most,” Littlejohn said.“I think my biggest strength is being able to attack the basket and I knew that if I were to add a three-point shot, I would be even harder to guard.”
The improvements show as Littlejohn is third on the team with a three-point percentage of 30.6%. Harris has also made huge strides this season, and this is now his third year playing on Varsity.
“I have become more of a leader, and I’ve been able to improve both my inside game and my outside game,” Harris said.
Harris has been dominant down in the post all season, as he is not only leading the team in points, but is also leading the team with 8.2 rebounds per game and 1.89 blocked shots per game.
The team has made big strides as the season has gone along, not only in their statistical play, but in their ability to play as a team.
“We’ve really gotten better at being able to play together as hard as we can for 32 minutes, and being able to fight through adversity,” Littlejohn said.
Although the team has made improvements, they know they’re not perfect and they know that they need to make even more improvements.
“If we could improve on anything, it would have to be playing within ourselves consistently and aggressively,” Littlejohn said.“We tend to come out slow sometimes and have nights where we don’t play well. If we could be more consistent, I think we would become a much better team.”
The team has big goals they’re wishing to accomplish to stay on track with their past success.
“Our goal is to win districts and get to state,” Harris said.
Accomplishing this goal would be an amazing feat considering the amount of key players that graduated from last year, as well as the loss of former head coach Rick Kirby. The team lost four of their top six scorers from last season, including DeAndre Campbell who lead the team with 24 PPG. Harris, Littlejohn and Ball have all raised their production as Harris is averaging five more PPG than last year, 3.1 more rebounds, while Littlejohn has raised his scoring by 9.6 PPG, and Ball raised his by 7.4 PPG. All of this is happening under new head coach Aaron Mueller who was an assistant coach under Kirby.
“Coach really brings us together and I feel like that’s important for a team in order to keep the chemistry together. Better chemistry makes a better team,” Littlejohn said.
Look for the team to improve and reach their goals in a surprising success of a season to this point.

Photo by Megan Fisher 
Senior guard Mello Ball attempts a layup in a game against McCluer North.